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POSSIBILITY AND CONSTRAINT: AFRICAN INDEPENDENCE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE*

  • FREDERICK COOPER (a1)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

On the fiftieth anniversary of an ambiguous event – the referendum giving French Africans the choice of immediate independence or a new status within a ‘French Community’ – this article points to the alternative forms of political action which opened up at certain moments in African history and how, at other moments, some of those alternatives closed down. It assesses concepts, issues and arguments used in writing the history of Africa, now that the recent African past – spanning the last years of colonial rule and the years of independence – is becoming a focus of historical inquiry.

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Catherine Boone , ‘Property and constitutional order: land tenure reform and the future of the African state’, African Affairs, 106 (2007), 557–86

Barbara Weinstein , ‘Developing inequality’, American Historical Review, 113 (2008), 118

Véronique Dimier , ‘L'institutionnalisation de la Commission européene (DG Développement) du rôle des leaders dans la construction d'une administration multinationale 1958–1975’, Revue Etudes Internationales, 34 (2003), 401–27

Richard Waller , ‘Rebellious youth in colonial Africa’, Journal of African History, 47 (2006), 7792

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The Journal of African History
  • ISSN: 0021-8537
  • EISSN: 1469-5138
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-african-history
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